Juneteenth takes place Saturday

Published 4:31 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2019

WEST POINT — There’s a big change in this year’s Juneteenth Community Festival. In recent years, the festival has taken place on the grounds of Goodsell Methodist Church in Lanett. This year’s festival will be taking place in West Point River Park between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 8.

There will be no admission charge, and there will be lots of family fun, including live music from a stage, food and refreshments, craft vendors and other options. There will be a poster and essay competition, a health fair, voter registration and some old-fashioned storytelling.

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy.

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The poster and essay contests encourage today’s youth to study the history of Juneteenth and to have a better understanding of what really happened in the post-Civil War period. Goodsell pastor Dr. Randy B. Kelley said “as African-Americans, our story wasn’t told.”

Dr. Kelley said the struggles African Americans endured produced many heroes and heroines who are largely unknown today due to the suppression of black history.

“This struggle needs to be known,” he said. “Today, we have scientists marching, women marching and children from schools marching,” Kelley said.